Hennessy VS Cognac Review

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Introduction: Hennessy VS Cognac Review

Welcome to our Hennessy VS Cognac Review, the Very Special 2023 Update that all cognac enthusiasts eagerly await! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the world of Hennessy VS Cognac and explore what sets it apart from other spirits.

We will discuss its distillation process, unique flavor profiles, enticing cocktail options, and why this golden liquid continues to reign as a market leader.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hennessy VS Cognac is an entry-level cognac aged in French oak barrels for at least two years, offering a balanced flavor profile and versatility that makes it ideal for cocktails.
  • Hennessy continues to innovate with limited edition releases, improved distillation and aging techniques, and partnerships that showcase the brand’s commitment to quality, sustainability, and collaboration.
  • When it comes to taste, Hennessy VS Cognac delivers distinct aromas of fruit and oak alongside vanilla, honey, and spice flavors, making it perfect for sipping or mixing in classic cocktails like the Sidecar or French Connection.
  • Understanding the differences between VS and XO cognacs can help consumers make informed decisions when selecting their preferred drinking experience based on price range, taste profile, popularity rankings, etc.

What is Hennessy VS Cognac?

Glasses of Hennessy VS Cognac

Hennessy VS Cognac is a popular type of cognac, first created by Richard Hennessy in 1765, that is aged for at least two years in French oak barrels and has an ABV of 40%.

What Is VS Cognac?

VS Cognac, short for “Very Special,” represents an entry-level cognac category popular among cocktail drinkers worldwide. As a blend of eaux-de-vie aged in French oak barrels for at least two years, Hennessy VS Cognac sets the standard with its well-balanced flavor profiles and versatile nature.

Hennessy takes great care in meticulously selecting only the finest eaux-de-vie for their signature VS expression. Chosen by the expert Tasting Committee, these unique components give Hennessy Very Special its rich bronze color alongside enticing notes of fruit and oak aromas.

The Distillation And Aging Process

To create Hennessy VS Cognac, the distillation and aging process begins with selecting only the highest quality Ugni White grapes from the Cognac region of France.

The wine is then double-distilled in copper stills to concentrate its alcohol content. Once distilled, it is aged for at least two years in French oak barrels before blended by Hennessy’s Master Blender.

The cognac takes on a rich amber color during aging and absorbs flavors from the barrel’s wood. French oak is used for its natural porosity and ability to give off subtle spice notes like cinnamon and vanilla while enhancing natural fruit aromas.

Hennessy VS Cognac has been carefully crafted using these techniques since 1865 and remains true to its origins today.

Differences Between VS And XO

Differences between Hennessy VS and XO cognacs are crucial when selecting the perfect drinking experience for cocktail enthusiasts. Here’s a comparison table to illustrate these distinctions:

Aspect Hennessy VS Hennessy XO
Meaning of Abbreviation Very Special Extra Old
Aging Period 2-8 years 10-30 years
Taste Profile Bold, fruity, and oaky Complex, rich, and smooth
Price Range Affordable; perfect for daily consumption and mixing in cocktails Higher price point; best enjoyed neat or on the rocks
Popularity The most common type of Hennessy Cognac, accounting for nearly half of all cognac sales Premium choice for those looking for a luxurious and sophisticated drinking experience
Calorie Count per 1 1/2-ounce shot 100 calories Similar to Hennessy VS


Understanding these differences will help cocktail drinkers decide when to select the ideal Hennessy cognac for their preferences and occasions.

What’s New In 2023 For Hennessy VS Cognac?

Hennessy VS Cognac is introducing special limited edition releases, improved distillation and aging techniques, and exciting collaborations and partnerships to elevate the drinking experience.

Special Limited Edition Releases

Hennessy VS Cognac has always been popular among cocktail drinkers and collectors. In 2023, Hennessy is releasing some special limited-edition bottles worth checking out! Here are some exciting releases to look out for:

  1. Hennessy VS “Ice Limited Edition” – This bottle features a sleek blue and silver design inspired by the ice that forms during winter months.
  2. Hennessy VS “Basketball” Edition – The brand partnered with the NBA to release this limited edition bottle featuring a basketball-like texture on the label.
  3. Hennessy VS “Gold Limited Edition” – For those who like a touch of luxury, this limited edition bottle features gold accents and comes in a black and gold box.
  4. Hennessy VS “Barrel Aged Batch 2” – This release uses the same distillation process as their classic VS cognac but has been aged longer in French oak barrels resulting in a smoother taste.
  5. Hennessy VS “Collector’s Edition” – This year’s edition bottle features an intricate design with gold detailing, making it a must-have for any serious collector.

Whether you’re looking for something new to try or adding to your collection, these limited-edition releases from Hennessy will impress your taste buds and guests!

Improved Distillation And Aging Techniques

Hennessy VS Cognac has always been synonymous with high-quality and exceptional taste, but the brand isn’t resting on its laurels.

The most notable improvement centers around using French oak barrels for aging. The wood used in these barrels is carefully selected from specific forests renowned for their quality, which results in a richer and smoother cognac.

Additionally, Hennessy’s expert distillers have found ways to optimize the aging process through innovative techniques that result in bottles of cognac with improved depth and complexity.

Collaborations And Partnerships

Hennessy VS Cognac has always been at the forefront of collaborations and partnerships, working with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry to create limited-edition bottles and unique experiences. Here are some of Hennessy’s most notable collaborations and partnerships:

  1. Collaboration with NBA: In 2020, Hennessy partnered with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to become the official spirits partner of the league. The partnership features Hennessy branding on the NBA’s digital properties, exclusive content, and fan experiences.
  2. Limited edition releases: Hennessy regularly collaborates with artists and designers to create unique limited edition bottles for collectors. Recent collaborations include partnerships with artist Shepard Fairey, fashion designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista, and even a collaboration with rapper Nas.
  3. Partnership with Mixologists: To showcase the versatility of cognac in cocktails, Hennessy has partnered with top mixologists worldwide to create signature drinks that highlight the flavors and aromas of their cognacs.
  4. Music Collaborations: Hennessy is also known for partnering with musicians, particularly in hip-hop culture. They’ve worked with artists like Drake, Future, and A$AP Ferg to create custom cocktails and limited-edition bottles that pay homage to their music.
  5. Sustainable Partnerships: Sustainability is an increasingly important issue in today’s world, and Hennessy is committed to reducing its environmental impact through partnerships with organizations like Trees for the Future. They’ve pledged to plant one tree for every bottle sold in specific markets.

Through these collaborations and partnerships, Hennessy continues to push boundaries and innovate while staying true to its heritage as a timeless icon in the world of cognacs.

Hennessy VS Cognac Tasting Notes And Review


Holding Hennessy VS Cognac

The aroma of Hennessy VS Cognac is a blend of fruit and oak, with hints of vanilla and toasted almonds.

Aroma And Flavor Profile

The aromas of Hennessy VS Cognac are distinctive, starting with a brushed bronze color and unique scents of fruit and oak. The nose also reveals traces of citrus, honey, and floral notes intermingling with toasted almonds and cinnamon.

Hennessy VS has a harmonious blend of eaux-de-vie carefully selected by the Tasting Committee. This combination creates a fruity and full-bodied aroma profile while still being elegant without aggressive alcohol burn or high acidity.

Overall, Hennessy VS Cognac delivers excellent value for the price point compared to other cognacs on the market. Its unique flavor profile can be attributed to its aging process in French oak barrels and its distillation techniques passed down through generations of master blenders at the esteemed Hennessy distillery in France.

Taste Test Results

Hennessy VS Cognac has a smooth and balanced taste that is perfect for sipping or mixing in cocktails. The aromas of fruit and oak are present in every sip, followed by vanilla, honey, and spice flavors.

The tasting notes reveal a long finish with hints of toasted nuts and caramel. In recent blind tastings, Hennessy VS has consistently scored high marks against other cognacs in its class regarding aroma, flavor profile, and balance.

It’s no wonder why Hennessy VS remains the market leader in VS cognac sales worldwide.

Cocktail Recommendations

When it comes to Hennessy VS Cognac, you can create no shortage of cocktails. Try mixing up some of these classic and modern cocktail recipes for a delicious and sophisticated drink:

  1. Classic Sidecar: Combine Hennessy VS Cognac, 1 part fresh lemon juice, and 1 part triple sec in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
  2. French Connection: Mix equal parts Hennessy VS Cognac and amaretto over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Stir gently and serve.
  3. Ginger Sour: Muddle fresh ginger slices with 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice and 3/4 oz honey syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 oz Hennessy VS Cognac and ice, then shake well. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with a piece of candied ginger.
  4. The Godfather: Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes, pour in 2 oz Hennessy VS Cognac then add 1/2 oz amaretto liqueur.
  5. Sazerac: Rinse an old-fashioned glass with absinthe or Pernod, then discard the excess liquid. In a shaker filled with ice, combine 2 oz Hennessy VS Cognac, 1/4 oz simple syrup, two dashes of Peychaud’s bitters, and one dash of Angostura bitters (optional). Stir until well chilled, then strain into the prepared glass.
  6. New York Sour: Fill shaker with ice; add in egg white (for frothiness), maple syrup (for sweetness), and Hennessey’s cognac (for the main punch), along with some freshly squeezed lemon juice to cut the richness; shake aggressively until chilled; strain over ice; float a small amount of red wine or fruit juice for color.

Hennessy VS Cognac has a smooth and complex flavor that pairs well with various dishes, including seafood, steak, and chocolate desserts. Try serving it with a shrimp cocktail, grilled salmon, or dark chocolate truffles for a truly decadent experience.

Hennessy VS Cognac In Cocktails

Discover the versatility of Hennessy VS Cognac in cocktails with classic and modern cocktail suggestions and food pairing recommendations.

Classic And Modern Cocktail Suggestions

Looking for some cocktail inspiration for your Hennessy VS Cognac? Here are some classic and modern cocktail suggestions to try out:

  1. Hennessy Sour is a simple yet classic drink with Hennessy VS, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake well with ice and strain into a glass.
  2. Old Fashioned – Add a twist to the classic bourbon cocktail by using Hennessy VS instead. Muddle sugar and bitters in a glass, add ice and Hennessy VS and stir well.
  3. Sidecar – This classic cocktail has cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice. Mix equal parts of Hennessy VS, Cointreau, and lemon juice in a shaker with ice—strain into a sugar-rimmed glass.
  4. French Connection – A smooth and sophisticated drink with equal parts of Hennessy VS and amaretto liqueur over ice.
  5. Espresso Martini with a Twist – Add some kick to the classic vodka espresso martini by adding a shot of Hennessy VS to the mix.

Remember that there are no hard-and-fast rules regarding cocktails or pairings! Experiment with different flavors and see what works best for you. And as always, enjoy in moderation!

Food Pairing Recommendations

Pairing Hennessy VS cognac with food can elevate your dining experience. Here are some recommended food pairings that would go well with this very special spirit:

  1. Cheese platter – Pair the rich and fruity flavors of Hennessy VS Cognac with cheese like Roquefort or Gouda.
  2. Dark chocolate – The smooth and complex taste of cognac is perfect when paired with dark chocolate, especially those with a high percentage of cocoa.
  3. Grilled steak – The bold flavors in grilled steak pair perfectly with the full-bodied nature of Hennessy VS Cognac.
  4. Lobster – The sweet taste of lobster pairs beautifully with the subtle hints of vanilla and toasted oak found in Hennessy VS cognac.
  5. Sushi – Pairing sushi with Hennessy VS Cognac may seem unconventional, but the delicate flavors and textures in sushi compliment the smooth and refined taste of cognac.

Remember, when pairing food with Hennessy Very Special Cognac, it’s important to choose dishes that won’t overpower its unique flavor profile. And above all else, enjoy every sip alongside a delicious meal!


1. What distinguishes Hennessy VS Cognac from other cognacs on the market?

Hennessy VS Cognac is known for its smooth and rich flavor, featuring vanilla, oak, and fruit notes. Its distinctive brandy taste comes from a blend of eaux-de-vie aged French oak barrels for at least two years.

2. How should I serve Hennessy VS Cognac?

To fully appreciate the flavors of Hennessy VS Cognac, it’s best to serve it neat or with a small amount of room temperature water to open up the aromas. It can also be enjoyed in cocktails such as a classic Sidecar or an Old Fashioned.

3. What sets this 2023 update apart from previous releases?

The 2023 update of Hennessy VS Cognac features a refined blend of eaux-de-vie that has been carefully selected for depth and complexity. This results in an even more distinct flavor profile than previous releases.

4. Is Hennessy VS Cognac worth the price tag?

Hennessy VS Cognac is considered a premium spirit with a higher price point than other cognacs. However, many enthusiasts believe it’s worth investing in due to its high quality and reputation as one of the world’s leading cognacs.

Conclusion: Is Hennessy VS Cognac Worth The Price?

In conclusion, Hennessy VS Cognac is worth the price for cocktail drinkers seeking a high-quality and versatile spirit. With its carefully selected eaux-de-vie and expert aging process in French oak barrels, Hennessy VS has become an iconic brand in the world of cognacs.

The improved distillation techniques and collaborations with artists and athletes make it even more appealing to collectors. While other competitors are in the market, none quite match the complexity of flavors and aromas found in Hennessy VS Cognac.

Plus, indulging in this timeless classic at only 100 calories per 1 1/2-ounce shot won’t break your dietary goals.